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Mother-of-eight, Farhiya Ali Mohamed (43) lives in a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in the Gedo region of Somalia. The Jazira camp currently has 217,318 IDPs who were forced to flee from their homes due to ongoing drought.
Mother-of-eight, Farhiya Ali Mohamed (43) lives in a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in the Gedo region of Somalia. The Jazira camp currently has 217,318 IDPs who were forced to flee from their homes.
Farhiya, like many other women at the camp, took on the sole responsibility of caring for her eight children after losing her husband to Covid-19 last year.
Following her husband’s death, she went from house to house in the host communities looking for a job such as washing, cleaning, working on farms and selling of firewood which would give the family $2-3 a day. Farhiya’s chances of finding a job were hindered by the prolonged drought, conflict and economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic – and now the Ukraine war. Despite this, Farhiya never lost hope that she would find a job.
In the Gedo region of Somalia, many families are forced to go to bed hungry as drought grips the area. More than 80pc of people rely on agriculture and pastoralism to support their livelihoods, but the absence of rain has left nearly half of the population, particularly children, in extreme hunger. The Ukraine war has also had a huge effect on communities as the price of food and fuel has increased.
Trócaire, in partnership with Somali Humanitarian Relief Action, are implementing a pilot project focusing on improving the livelihoods, nutrition and resilience of vulnerable IDPs in Gedo by growing a variety of vegetables (beans, kales, spinach, onions) intercropped with moringa trees.
Local people growing vegetables can help strengthen a country’s economy as well as increasing food security. It allows families to improve their nutrition and create a source of income.
Through the Trócaire project, Farhiya was given a piece of land where she is growing moringa trees and vegetables. After three months of farming, she harvested 15kgs of corn, 12kgs of beans, three sacks of spinach and two sacks of kale. She earned $189 from her produce.
Farhiya is happy that she is now able to feed her family, while also selling the surplus to make extra income.
“Using the income I started earning, I hope to have a better and bigger shelter for my family in the future,” Farhiya said.
She now hopes she will be able to save enough money to expand her makeshift home as her current shelter does not protect her and her family from extreme weather conditions.
“Mahad sanid SHRA Iyo Trócaire’ (Somali phrase meaning ‘Thank you SHRA and Trócaire’). I am grateful for the piece of land, crop seeds and supply of water for farming. I am now able to provide for my family through selling the spinach.”
“It’s my hope and prayer that Somalia will become peaceful, and we go back to our ancestral land and do farming. My dream is to see my children getting education like any other child and live a healthy and better life,” Farhiya said.